The Golden Age of Medieval Islamic Toxicology

Mozhgan M. Ardestani*, Roja Rahimi, Mohammad M. Esfahani, Omar Habbal, Mohammad Abdollahi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The science of toxicology has a long history, and early Islamic researchers were among the most illustrious in the field. The etymology of two words, ". toxin" and ". bezoar," dates back to Islamic antiquity and further establishes the importance of toxicology to countries flourishing at the time Numerous Islamic scientists were experts in the field of toxicology and had described poisons and antidotes in their literature. Ibn Uthal, an early chemist and well known as a skilled toxicologist, conducted systematic studies on antidotes and poisons. Jaber-ibn-Hayyan, Ibn Wahshia and Imad al-Din Mahmud ibn-Mas'ud Shirazi were among the most famous scientists who worked in this field. Different aspects of poisons, including their identity and constituents, ways of identifying poison types and methods of detoxification, chemistry, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics are all topics which were noted by these medieval Islamic toxicologists. They also took into account ethical issues and were critical of the opinions of earlier scientists. In addition to treatment, they were very cognizant of the prevention of poisoning. Different pharmacological interventions and antidotes have been suggested for the management of poisons that are not well known in modern toxicology, including scorpion and other reptiles, stings, scabies, oleander poisoning, etc. Studying treatises and manuscripts from toxicologists of the medieval Islamic era can help in the development of new ideas for the prevention and treatment of poisonings. Designing appropriate methods to examine the experiences of toxicologists from the medieval Islamic era may lead to the discovery of new and possibly more effective treatments for poisoning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationToxicology in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128095591
ISBN (Print)9780128095546
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 2017


  • Antidote
  • Islamic
  • Medieval
  • Persian
  • Poison
  • Toxicology
  • Toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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